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Featurizing Case Studies

I, like you, have seen thousands of case studies, and most of them are pretty formulaic and stiff. This case study from German storage start-p Open-E (a past customer) caught my eye as an intriguing way to break out of the press release box. First, they took a page from the consumer products industry by […]

Need to Brief a Writer? Just Say It!

Two months and many hours into a writing project for a major global firm I still didn’t know which business unit(s) were involved in a software implementation, which specific software packages were involved and who exactly used the software. Why? Because rather than let me do one or two interviews with people who knew the […]

Fear of FUD

A client recently asked me to delete the reference to fires, floods and earthquakes from a piece about disaster recovery because it sounded like we were using "fear, uncertainty and doubt" to sell their products. I’m old enough to remember where “FUD” started, when IBM would scare customers from buying lower-cost hardware, software or accessories […]

Tapping the Water Cooler

Any of you who’ve tried to create blogs, newsletters or custom publications know how hard it can seem to come up with good content. But sometimes, it can be as easy as encouraging employees to write down some of the good stuff they’re telling each other around the water cooler. A good example is eWeek […]

First, Cause No Confusion

First, a caution: This item will read like a rant, but there is a point. I recently emailed a PR firm to check the status of a vendor’s product. The only update I needed to finish my story was whether their client’s software had moved from it’s previous alpha (early test) status into beta (customer […]

Positioning Paralysis

I recently completed a positioning project that highlighted some of the more dangerous black holes a vendor can fall into in trying to explain their technology. This client wanted to 1) describe their new, complex “secret sauce” technology while 2) explaining how these new capabilities would work with older, more well-known technologies to 3) create […]

Going Public Too Soon

PR agencies and investors constantly wrestle with the question of when to announce a new company or a new product. Going public too long before product actually ships and you run the risk of peaking too soon – getting editors, analysts and customers jazzed about your product, only to have them lose interest (or dismiss […]

Explaining OEM Deals

I recently ran into a friend at a trade show who had a batch of great news, including the fact that a major OEM had just adopted his software in favor of technology the OEM had tried to develop internally. He was justifiably thrilled that this well-known OEM had in effect admitted his start-up did […]

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